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Comrades From The North

Welcome to the Summer issue of The Bridge although it feels like November right now!. As we write this we are not long returned from downtown Tulsa, the venue for the first World of Bob Dylan Symposium organised by the University of Tulsa’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies. You will find more detail elsewhere in this issue but we just wish to record what a great event it was. In between the, sometimes esoteric, sometimes extremely academic but often highly informative presentations there was time to meet with subscribers and contributors to The Bridge. It was delightful to meet old acquaintances and to see others for the first time, to put a face to a name! Some of our European friends were on Archive duty in the enviable task of sifting through hours of Dylan’s recordings and film accessing many gems from storage. Their daily breakfast briefings were unmissable. We spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon in the presence of two lovely Tulsa residents, Julie and Bill who were real friendly and took us on a trip around the hidden micro-breweries of the city. A great afternoon - big thanks Julie and Bill. Tulsa itself is a lovely little city (but where were the shops?) which is clearly re-defining itself as an arts-orientated destination – and succeeding. The presence of both the Woody Guthrie Museum and the Bob Dylan Archive is a substantial draw anyway. . In time it would be useful to have direct flights to the city to remove the need to go via hubs like Dallas, Atlanta and Minneapolis. Your intrepid editors almost fell victim to this requirement as the first leg of our home flight from Tulsa allowed only 46 minutes of transfer time in Atlanta. With our flight from Tulsa delayed we were left with only a few minutes to navigate Atlanta’s sprawling concourses to reach what was by now was an obvious missed connection but were relieved and delighted to discover that our Paris flight had been delayed getting in and was there waiting for us. Phew! Heartfelt thanks go to those who were involved in organising the Symposium and also to the presenters and fellow delegates. What a friendly event in a very friendly city.

We arrived back in Blighty just in time to take delivery of the new box set The Rolling Thunder Revue The 1975 Live Recordings. This is a great package with a pleasing mix of rehearsal material, professionally-recorded shows and a bonus disc of one-off performances from across the tour. A lovely little booklet accompanies the discs and features a number of super photos. All in all a very good job by all concerned - thanks to Columbia as ever. One point - and we have made this one before - the new King Crimson box of twenty-four discs has two Blu-ray discs containing over sixty concerts. So there is still scope for Columbia to emulate this! In this month of many riches we also got the Netflix Martin Scorcese ‘mocumentary’ Rolling Thunder Revue A Bob Dylan Story containing a cornucopia of unseen footage and interviews with those who were there including a truly engaging one with Dylan himself. This fascinating look at one of Dylan’s great tours is also frustrating as some of the unseen clips were truncated leaving the viewer wanting more. It is all there in the archive - Tulsa calls. Hey, isn’t that where this piece started? Well that’s all for now folks. We hope that you enjoy this issue - do let us know either way and take care out there.

May you climb on every rung ..........

Mike & John

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